The STOCK Act
The Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act is getting closer to reality. The original purpose of the bill was to stop insider trading among members of Congress. But more restrictions keep getting proposed.
Rand Paul has proposed an amendment that would prevent lawmakers from becoming lobbyists after they retire or get voted out. A former senator or congressman will be able to either become a lobbyist OR keep his retirement benefits.
Susan Collins, alarmed at this “harsh” amendment, said:
“As I read the language, the former member of Congress who writes a book would be in danger of forfeiting his or her pension.”
Senators Michael Bennet and Jon Tester — both junior senators — have added a lifetime ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists. And staff members would be prohibited from lobbying their former bosses for six years.
Two other senators, Sherrod Brown and Jeff Merkley, have proposed an amendment that would require lawmakers and their senior staff members to either divest of all stocks, or transfer all of their stock holdings into a blind trust.
Senators Claire McCaskill and Pat Toomey have proposed a Senate ban on earmarks. And Jim DeMint is pushing for an amendment requiring term limits for Congress.
No matter how restrictive this law becomes, it won’t be easy to vote No on it. Congress has a 9% public approval rating, and this is an election year.